(WARNING: This Roundup contains spoilers for this week’s Impact show.)
I don’t care about Velvet Sky. She’s a choker, she sucks and Gail Kim is far better because she’s been in WWE. And they’re my thoughts because that’s what TNA’s bookers WANT me to think.
OK, maybe it’s not intentional, but the superpush of Gail Kim to the Knockouts singles and tag team titles in less than a month of her return has sent a signal to the rest of the girls that they aren’t stars unless they’ve been in WWE. Fine – Kim was a star in TNA before her muted three years in New York, but her stock had dropped like her stone since leaving and returning. But not to TNA, oh no. Instead, she was portrayed as the unstoppable force alongside Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne, beating up Tara (who’s one of the best workers that the Knockouts division has), winning the tag belts and then claiming the Knockouts belt from Sky at Turning Point in what was Sky’s first title defence on either TV or pay-per-view. Sure, now Kim looks like the queen, but as a result, Tara, Sky and in a residual way, Brooke Tessmacher have all had their wings clipped, meaning that there are precious few credible babyfaces to challenge for the belt.
Last week, I wrote a piece about why it was in the best interests of all the Knockouts if Velvet Sky won at Turning Point and retained the title. It would establish her first reign as champion as something credible, and Kim wouldn’t really lose much as she was still the Knockouts Tag Champ and could secure a rematch due to her alignment with Jarrett (which still puzzles me, as why is she still Knockouts VP when it was Eric Bischoff who put her in charge and the company is being governed by Dixie Carter and Sting these days?). However, TNA decided that Sky’s important first run as champ was expendable, as the belts clearly don’t matter – and that’s true, as in the last 100 days, the Knockouts belt has changed hands five different times.
According to Dave Meltzer, the idea is that TNA can now market Sky as the plucky babyface going for the Knockouts belt and overcoming the odds to get it back. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t she do that for FIVE YEARS as part of her quest to win the belt for the first time at Bound For Glory, then won it in a four-way match where Jarrett was the biased ref who was pulling for the heels and wouldn’t give the babyfaces an inch?
Silver linings for Kim winning the title? Well, she’s the better wrestler, even though the Turning Point match was dull as dishwater and proved that she couldn’t carry Sky. What they could have done is have them work the house show circuit for a while to let them get a feel for each other, considering they haven’t wrestled in three years, but instead, Sky has been doing the rounds with ODB, who hasn’t been on TV in an age. Also, Sky wasn’t exactly beaten clean, as it took Jarrett and Rayne’s interference to help Gail win, but after that, I can’t see what positives there are. As I’ve said a million times, I acknowledge that Sky isn’t much of a wrestler, but why put the belt on her if you knew that the matches would be no good? As a figurehead for the division, she wouldn’t win any plaudits for the wrestling, but an image of her with the belt may encourage someone to part ways with some money for a ticket to a show or a PPV buy. Let’s face it, this is a business, and I think Sky would draw more money from her image than Kim would, unless she’s facing Sky in a rematch.
Which she isn’t, as this week on Impact, you’ll see Mickie James winning a gauntlet match to get a shot at the belt. That must be galling for Sky, who was unfairly beaten for the belt and doesn’t even get a chance to win it back. In fact, if Jarrett really doesn’t want Sky as champion, why did she put her in the gauntlet in the first place, when she may win and get another shot at the belt? Also, it must be annoying for all the other homegrown Knockouts (and that includes the likes of Tara, Winter and Tessmacher, as they have all been renamed and are new characters) who work hard to get some recognition and a chance at the top spot to be overlooked for another former WWE Diva, once again proving that unless you’ve had a modicum of success in the big time, then you’re not, and will never be a real focus for TNA.
I should point out though, the girls aren’t to blame for this – it’s the perception the bookers and writers have, and how it’s projected through their product to the audience. However, it makes TNA look really small-time in that it acts like WWE is better booked, has bigger stars that no matter what they do, even their biggest stars will never be as famous as mid-to-lower card wrestlers who may have been on Raw once.
It’s a shame, as TNA’s Knockouts division has something to give. It’s a shame that we never get to see it.
Incidentally, Gail Kim’s Knockouts Title win has made things interesting for her JWP, TLW and Hybrid Fighting Championships challenge at Absolute Intense Wrestling against titleholder Hailey Hatred on November 25. It means that – barring no title losses on either side – that between the two of them , they will be in possession of EIGHT championships, six of them belonging to Hatred, who added to her tally last weekend (see The Best Of The Rest for more on that).
The saying goes that “hell hath no fury than a woman scorned”. Whoever said that had never heard of Robert Evans.
After being the victim of unrequited love at the hands of Portia Perez, Evans has made it his personal goal to destroy the Canadian who he once held so true in his heart. After going into exile from Anarchy Championship Wrestling, he returned at the American Joshi Queen Of Queens tournament in June posing as Portia’s aide Super Electro, attacking her and causing her to be defeated by eventual tourney winner Rachel Summerlyn, and in turn, stopping her from retaining her QoQ crown. This past Saturday, Evans struck again in the semi finals of an ACW tournament to ruin Perez’s life even further.
Earlier in the evening at the Lone Star Classic in Austin, TX, Perez made ACW history by winning the opening round triple threat match over Heavyweight Champion Darin Childs and Rachel Summerlyn to win the title, as the stipulation was that the belt would be defended in every round of the tournament. It marked the first time that a woman had held the promotion’s top belt and also rubber-stamped the fact that ACW is truly a gender-unspecific company. Sure, the women wrestle the men and until recently, Summerlyn and Jessica James held the ACW Tag Team Championships, but it’s a far cry from holding the tag belts or holding your own against the guys to being the promotion’s flag-bearer. However, Portia deserves it – she’s a fantastic character, a polished heel and a great wrestler to boot. When it comes to antagonists, there are few that are better.
The reign would last less than an hour though, as Evans once again attacked Perez as she defended the belt against JT LaMotta, causing her to lose the match and the belt and escalate things between the former buddies to a new level – so much so, that they are now poised to fight.
Portia Perez will wrestle Robert Evans on January 15, 2012 as part of ACW’s flagship card, Guilty By Association VI, which will be the culmination of an 18 month storyline involving love, hate, bitterness, violence, heartbreak, defeat and vengeance. Should be a war, methinks…
The best of the rest
Apparently, the plan is for Beth Phoenix and Natalya to feud in the future. Considering how Natalya’s been jobbing to Alicia Fox, it’s hardly setting the foundations well… The Taryn Shay pregnancy storyline in OVW came to an end when she found out she wasn’t expecting… New CMLL World Women’s Champion Marcela has already been beaten by Princesa Blanca in a non-title affair… Firstly Misaki Ohata, then Hiroyo Matsumoto – now JWP Openweight Champion Hailey Hatred has paid a visit to Ice Ribbon… The lineups for the three shows that will make up Joshimania in December are taking place. Check the Upcoming section for more… Ivelisse Velez has signed to WWE and has reported to FCW. About time too. That means that WWE has signed up every woman they possibly could from Tough Enough – the others being Christina “Caylee Turner” Crawford and Ariane “Cameron Lynn” Andrew, who were both inferior to Ivelisse. The other contestant, Michelle Deighton, has no interest in wrestling again… ArenaChicks will be at WrestleReunion in Los Angeles for the second year running. Amber O’Neal, Angel Orsini and Shelly Martinez have all been announced as attending… Congratulations to Taeler Hendrix, who relocated from the northeast of the US to Louisville, KY to wrestle for Ohio Valley Wrestling, and won the promotion’s Women’s Championship from Lady JoJo on Saturday… Kudos also to Niki Nitro, who won the PWA Underground Women’s belt from Lady Devine in Australia at the weekend… Britani Knight is still racking up titles. She became the first ever WAWW Hardcore Ladies’ Champion on Friday… Ditto for Hailey Hatred who now holds three tag team titles to go with her three singles titles. She won her latest ones on Sunday alongside partner and friend Kaori Yoneyama, who retires next month… Sara Del Rey closed off her CHIKARA season by defeating former BDK teammate Jakob Hammermeier at High Noon on Sunday… Jessicka Havok had to do a little damage control after she recorded a promo saying that she didn’t “give a shit” the WSU Spirit Title that she held and wanted the World Title instead. I get the sentiment – that she is focussed on the top belt – but accidentally discredited the Spirit belt in doing so… Sunny suffered cuts and bruises to her face and a possible broken nose after taking a major fall on an escalator recently… Beth Phoenix will defend the Divas title against Eve Torres for a second straight PPV at Survivor Series this Sunday.
November 6: Happy Hour (Tokyo, Japan) – Keiko Aono b Lingerie Muto & Micro; Yuu Yamagata b Annie Social; Dump Matsumoto b Jenny Rose; ZAP I & ZAP T b Sareee & Ayako Hamada; Aja Kong & Andrea Mother b Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota
November 8: Sendai Girls (Sendai, Japan) – Eiger b Sakura Hirota; DASH Chisako b Miyako Morino; Kaori Yoneyama b Sendai Sachiko; Aja Kong b Kagetsu; Meiko Satomura & Ryo Mizunami b Mayumi Ozaki & Hiren
November 9: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Epiphany
November 9: WWE (Nottingham, England) – Beth Phoenix b Eve Torres
November 9: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi b Kurumi & Dorami Nagano; Hikaru Shida b Neko Nitta; Munenori Sawa, Ken Ohka & Hiroyo Matsumoto b GENTARO, Ribbon Takahashi & Emi Sakura
November 9: WWE (Brussels, Belgium) – Natalya b Alicia Fox
November 10: Impact Wrestling (Macon, GA) – Madison Rayne & Gail Kim b Velvet Sky & Mickie James
November 11: WWE SmackDown (Liverpool, England) – Alicia Fox b Tamina
November 11: WWE (London, England) – Beth Phoenix b Eve Torres
November 11: WWE (Gdansk, Poland) – Alicia Fox b Natalya
November 11: 19 Pro (Saitama, Japan) – Kurumi b Dorami Nagano; Emi Sakura & Neko Nitta b Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi
November 11: World Association of Wrestling (Norwich, England) – Britani Knight b Sweet Saraya, Destiny, Liberty, Amazon, Amy Lee Kramer & Penelope in a Rumble to win the WAWW Hardcore Ladies Title
November 11: NWA Houston (Cypress, TX) – Jen-Alise b Angel Blue
November 11: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Dark Angel, Estrellita & Lady Apache b La Commandante, La Seductora & Tiffany
November 11: CMLL (Guadalajara, Mexico) – Princesa Blanca b Marcela
November 11: PWA Queensland (Chermside, Australia) – Niki Nitro b Baby Devine to win the PWA Underground Women’s Title
November 12: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Emi Sakura b Dorami Nagano; Mochi Miyagi b Kurumi; Ribbon Takanashi b Tsukushi; Hikari Minami, Hailey Hatred & Kaori Yoneyama b Ray, Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hikaru Shida
November 12: WWE (Frankfurt, Germany) – Alicia Fox b Natalya; Aksana b Natalya
November 12: CHIKARA (Easton, PA) – Hallowicked, Ultramantis Black, Dasher Hatfield, Sugar Dunkerton, Green Ant, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & Sara Del Rey b Tim Donst, Ares, Delirious, Tursas, Jakob Hammermeier, Obariyon, Kodama & Kobald (Del Rey survived)
November 12: PWA Queensland (Chermside, Australia) – Storm v Sara Jay v KT Hunt went to a no contest
November 12: Purely Obsessed Wrestling World (Villa Park, IL) – Nikki St John b Sassy Stephie
November 12: Anarchy Championship Wrestling (Austin, TX) – Portia Perez b Rachel Summerlyn & Darin Childs in a 3-way to win the ACW Heavyweight Championship; JT LaMotta b Portia Perez to win the ACW Heavyweight Championship; Athena b Angel Blue
November 12: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Taeler Hendrix b Lady JoJo to win the OVW Women’s Championship
November 12: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Arisa Hoshiki & Mayu Iwatani b Tomoka Nakagawa & Saki Kashima; Yuu Yamagata & Eri Susa b Yuzuki Aikawa & Yoko Bito; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Yoshiko; Nanae Takahashi b Natsuki*Taiyo
November 12: Impact Pro Wrestling (Stanmore Bay, New Zealand) – Evie b Britanay
November 12: New England Championship Wrestling (Abington, MA) – Alexxis Nevaeh b Luscious Latasha
November 12: Combat Zone Wrestling (Philadelphia, PA) – Greg Excellent b Mia Yim
November 12: World League Wrestling (Richmond, MO) – Lucy Mendez b Stacey O’Brien
November 13: TNA Turning Point (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Velvet Sky to win the Knockouts title; Mexican America & Sarita b Ink, Inc & Toxxin
November 13: CHIKARA High Noon (Philadelphia, PA) – Sara Del Rey b Jakob Hammermeier
November 14: WWE Raw (Boston, MA) – Kelly Kelly b Natalya
November 19: World Association of Women’s Wrestling (Norwich, England) – Sweet Saraya v Allison Danger; Queen Maya v Amazon; Destiny v Miss Mina; Busty Keegan v Nikki Knight; Liberty v Penelope; Lucy Clayden v Skarlett
November 19: International Wrestling Cartel (Meadville, PA) – Traci Brooks v Gail Kim
November 19: Newcastle Pro Wrestling (New Lambton, Australia) – Bombshell Bo v Shazza McKenzie
November 19: New Age Wrestling (Mulgrave, Australia) – Nikita Naridian v Lowzen v Vixsin
November 19: Women Superstars Uncensored (Long Island, NY) – Jetta & Rain v The Boston Shore; TBA v Melina; Mercedes Martinez, Alicia & Brittney Savage v Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie; Nikki Styx v Violet v Mo’Nique v Jessie Brook v Barbie v Rick Cataldo; Jennifer Cruz v Niya; Jana & Latasha v Tina San Antonio v Marti Belle
November 20: WWE Survivor Series (New York, NY) – Beth Phoenix v Eve Torres
November 24: SMASH (Tokyo, Japan) – Makoto v Aki Shizuku; Syuri v Lin Bairon; Takuya Kito, Mio Shirai & Konoka=Pehlwan v Keizo Matsuda, Katsuki Hirano & Kiyoko Ichiki; Kana v Tomoka Nakagawa; Tajiri & Ultimo Dragon v Jessica Love & Hajime Ohara
November 25: SMASH (Osaka, Japan) – Takuya Kito & Mio Shirai v Hajime Ohara & Jessica Love; Tomoka Nakagawa v Lin Bairon; Syuri & Makoto v Kana & Aki Shizuku
November 25: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, Ohio) – Mickie Knuckles v Mia Yim; Hayley Hatred v Gail Kim
November 25: NWA Pro Australia (Adelaide, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie v Kellyanne English
November 26: Ayumi Kurihara 6th Anniversary show (Tokyo, Japan) – Marcela v Ayumi Kurihara
December 2: Impact Championship Wrestling (Elmhurst, NY) – Mia Yim v Angel Orsini
December 2: Joshimania (Philadelphia, PA) – Sara Del Rey v Aja Kong
December 3: Joshimania (Everett, MA) – Aja Kong v Meiko Satomura
December 4: Joshimania (Manhattan, NY) – Sara Del Rey v Meiko Satomura
December 25: Ice Ribbon ‘Ribbon Mania’ (Tokyo, Japan)
January 4: Ice Ribbon ‘New Year Ribbon 2012′ (Tokyo, Japan)
January 7: Ice Ribbon ‘Sendai Ribbon’ (Sendai, Japan)
January 8: Bull Nakano retirement show (Tokyo, Japan)
January 15: Anarchy Championship Wrestling Guilty By Association VI (Live Oak, TX) – Portia Perez v Robert Evans
March 3: Women Superstars Uncensored (Deer Park, NY) – Mercedes Martinez v Jessicka Havok; Sassy Stephie & Allysin Kay v Brittney Savage & Alicia
March 10: nCw Femmes Fatales (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
March 17-18: SHIMMER Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to secure more bookings? Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get the message out there.
– Lee Burton